A Special Cut

$1,910 of $25k goal

Raised by 18 people in 17 months
Gerald David Newport  TUCSON, AZ
"A Special Cut" is the business idea of my wife, Mary Meinel. It refers to a hairstyling salon with two distinct features. It will cater to a mostly autistic clientele. There is a great need for such a salon in Tucson where we live as most of the regular salons don't want autistic people as customers. Mary, being autistic herself, feels differently.

       We have found an ideal location for our business; the home office of the Tucson Alliance for Autism. We want to spend part of each week serving children and older autistic people ("normal" family members are okay too) and part of the week going out to homes of people who don't want to come to our salon. If there is room, we want to also serve other people with special needs; cerebral pals, down's syndrome etc.

        Mary has a current Cosmetology license from the Arizona Board of Cosmetology. She has practiced the trade for about three years in addition to cutting hair for me and her children. In adddition, Mary was an extra on "Star Trek Deep Space Nine" and "Babylon Five." Mary knows very well the difficulty of being autistic and spening hours in a makeup room.


      The money we are seeking will buy startup equipment for the salon and most importantly, a spare chair and a vehicle, preferably a van, so we can take this service to homes of people who need it. By far, the van is the big ticket item.We will not own any of the business. It will be the property of the Tuscon Alliance for Autism, a non profit group which has been the leading provider of services for autism in Tucson since 2005 and has a squeaky clean record of advocacy and fundraising.

     We are working closely with the Arizona Board of Cosmetology to make sure this is all legal, healthy, safe and proper. Eventually, we hope to expand and hire haircutters who have special needs themselves.

      In case you wonder who we are:   Mary and I met in 1993 at a Halloween party of a support group I helped found for adults with autism or asperger syndrome. We married in 1994 and have been on "Sixty Minutes" twice.
        We were the inspiration for a movie in 2006; "Mozart and the Whale" is a fictional account of how we first met and bonded. We have also written an autobiograpy with the same name as well as two books on autism; "Your Life is Not a Label" and "Autism, Aspergers and Sexuality." Between us, we have spoken at over two hundred conferences in thirteen countries.

     In addition, Mary is practically a native of Tucson, Az. Her late father, Aden Meinel, was the founder of Kitt Peak National Observatory and the director of the Astronomy Department of the University of Arizona which now calls its Astronomy Building the Aden Meinel Center for Optical Sciences.
     Please help us make Mary's dream come true. You will help start something that other communities can duplicate.
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Update 12
Posted by Gerald David Newport
13 months ago
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Thank you, Marie Adamx
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Update 11
Posted by Gerald David Newport
17 months ago
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A BIG THANK YOU TO Dennis Malloy!!
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Update 10
Posted by Gerald David Newport
17 months ago
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Thank you, Marie Adams!!!
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Update 9
Posted by Gerald David Newport
17 months ago
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Thank you to Liz Freeman Boyd!!
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Read a Previous Update
Susan Sowell Byram
17 months ago

Jerry, check this out! http://100womenwhocaretucson.org/charities/eligibility-criteria/

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$1,910 of $25k goal

Raised by 18 people in 17 months
Created November 8, 2015
Gerald David Newport  
DB
$50
David Burns
13 months ago
BG
$60
Bill Geddes
15 months ago

Good luck Jerry and Mary

PS
$50
Phil Schwarz
15 months ago
DM
$100
Dennis Malloy
17 months ago

Good luck to you both!

MA
$50
Marie Adams
17 months ago

Great service, much needed.

LF
$25
Liz Freeman Floyd
17 months ago

What a wonderful idea!

DL
$50
David Laxton
17 months ago

Love the idea and happy to support this effort!

LS
$50
Lenny Schafer
17 months ago

I'll be in Tucson in December. How soon will you be up and going?

$25
Anonymous
17 months ago
JP
$25
joan puma
17 months ago
Susan Sowell Byram
17 months ago

Jerry, check this out! http://100womenwhocaretucson.org/charities/eligibility-criteria/

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